Lesson Times – “How many hours do you homeschool?”
When I first began homeschooling I kept asking other home school mothers, “How many hours do you homeschool?” They all seemed reluctant to put a time on their day. Finally one confessed how much time she spent doing lessons and I was a little shocked to find out it wasn’t much at all. Coming from a school mentality I expected that approximately six hours per day were spent doing lessons.
Do you mean – how many hours do you do formal lessons?
Now I understand more about homeschooling I realise, homeschooling is a lifestyle. When we set up an atmosphere of learning in our home, that makes learning happen “whenever”.
Many a time I, and other home school mothers, have been asked if we are school teachers by the general public because we are always making lessons out of our day; looking at a view, visiting the doctor, going through a checkout can turn into a lesson and to record all these moments would be impossible to capture on paper.
Children learn on their own as well, they can spend time doing all sorts of learning activities that could be lessons such as cooking, writing letters, caring for animals or coding computer games.
Why We Don’t Like To Set A Time
Some homeschoolers baulk at setting times to home school because they would argue that children are always learning and we need to wait for the learning opportunities to arise and then facilitate learning. However, I find it hard to drop everything in order to take advantage of all those learning opportunities available. To give me peace of mind and to accomplish things other than home school I need structure in my day.
I am reluctant to put a time figure on this because I know others will feel differently. But here goes!
How Many Hours Do You Homeschool – Per Grade
- Kindergarten (Prep)—Grade 2: 1 to 1 ½ hours/ 3 to 4 days per week.
- Grades 3—4: 2 to 3 hours/ 4 days per week
- Grades 5—6: 3 to 4 hours/ 4 days per week
- Grades 7—8: 4 to 6 hours/ 5 days per week
- Grades 9—10: 5 to 6 hours/ 5 days per week
This time allocation is reflecting the formal time learning. It does not include reading aloud, excursions, nature study, sport, music practice and hobby subjects like craft, sewing or movie making. For the rest of our day we are still learning but it is just not confined to a sitting down/traditional schooling position.
We only have structured lessons for four days per week in the primary years. The other day is left for errands, field trips, visiting and special events. I am not alone in this.
A Little Survey – How many hours do you homeschool?
At our home school group we did a survey of days mums spent on formal lessons and 13 out of 14 mums only did it 4 days per week.
I have set up a simple routine in my home. It is the perfect mix for me. A little routine to stop me stressing out and feeling like “we do nothing”, and the freedom to pursue interest and play.
So tell me – how many hours do you homeschool?”
This is an excerpt from How To Homeschool 101.
Look here for more Frequently Asked Questions of new homeschoolers.